He’s represented Wales across the world, played alongside some rugby’s most famous faces, and now Mike Phillips has joined Bear Strength to step outside of his comfort zone to launch Step Up And Try in aid of Breast Cancer Care. We caught up with the sporting star to find out more…
BS: You’ve been involved with Breast Cancer Care for two and a half years, what made you want to get involved with the charity?
MP: It started when I attended a brilliant event at the Wales Millennium Centre. The charity had organised this huge black tie dinner and fashion show. All the models involved had, at sokme stage, been diagnosed with breast cancer, and myself, along with some of the other Welsh rugby lads were there to escort a model down catwalk for the finale. It was a really humbling experience and I met some fantastic people – so when I was asked by Breast Cancer Care to become and ambassador, I was honored.
BS: What inspired you to joined forces with Bear Strength to front Step Up And Try?
MP: As an ambassador for Breast Cancer Care, I really want to do what I can to raise money and awareness for the charity. I really liked the idea of Step Up and Try because I think everyone should step out of their comfort zone and do something they have never done before.
BS: You launched the campaign with an epic hike up Snowdon. Excuse the pun, but what were the highs and lows of that challenge?
MP: It was a brilliant experience. Although I’m Welsh I had never been up Snowdon. Getting to the summit up the Watkins Path was awesome and the views were stunning. The week before, though, I’d been on holiday so arrived wearing a pair of new shoes with no socks which gave me blisters. My feet were in bits coming down the mountain and I couldn’t wait to get my flip-flops back on!
BS: Ouch! You’re encouraging us all to Step Up And Try, but what would you like to do next as part of the charity campaign?
MP: I love coffee so maybe barista training, or something like that!
BS: We’ve heard you like your caffeine – how do you like your coffee?
MP: I’m old school. Plain white.
BS: Being a rugby player, you’re in pretty good shape – what’s a typical day of training like?
MP: We usually start around 9am with a team meeting. We’ll have a weights session and focus on ball skills, then we do some training as a team.
BS: Sounds like hard work! Do you have any guilty food pleasures?
MP: I love chocolate & sweets, but if we’re talking meals, it would be fish & chips.
BS: You can’t beat good old fish and chips! And speaking of greats, you spent time playing alongside Jamie Roberts and Dan Carter at Racing Metro – how’s your French?
MP: Not bad, but I do need to improve!
BS: D’accord. You’re known for your skills on the pitch, but tell us something we might not know about you…
MP: I’m an open book.
BS: You’ve represented Wales across the world and met some of the most famous faces on the planet – who were you most in awe of?
MP: I had the honour of meeting Nelson Mandela when the Welsh rugby squad toured South Africa in 20014, and this summer I was lucky enough to meet Jay Z when Beyonce was playing at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
BS: They’re some pretty heavyweight icons. Who was your childhood idol?
MP: Joost Van der Westhuizen. He was a South Africa rugby player who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease at 40 years old.
BS: When you’re not training, travelling or being in the public eye, where’s your favorite place to be?
MP: At home, chilling in front of the television.
BS: Sounds like the perfect antidote to us. What can’t you live without?
MP: My mobile phone.
BS: Apart from being without your mobile phone, are you afraid of anything?
BS: Luckily we’re not asking anyone to go that far outside of their comfort zones, but, before we let you go, why should people take part and Step Up And Try?
MP: We all know someone who has been touched by breast cancer. We never know when we will need Breast Cancer Care so if you can help and have fun trying something new at the same time then it’s a no brainer! You can join me and get your official Supporter Pack, which includes a 10% donation directly to Breast Cancer Care and then tweet me your own personal challenges using the hashtag #StepUpAndTry. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re all going to do!
Inspired to Step Up And Try in aid of Breast Cancer Care? Click here to order your official supporter pack today and start making a difference!